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OMRON to acquire US-based industrial code reader company Microscan Systems

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OMRON Corporation recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Spectris plc in the U.K. regarding its acquisition of the US-based subsidiary of Spectris, Microscan Systems, Inc.

Headquartered in Renton, Washington, Microscan Systems is a global supplier of industrial code readers. By welcoming Microscan Systems as a new member of the OMRON Group, OMRON seeks to further advance the control of manufacturing equipment and production lines, using IoT to connect virtually all objects on a manufacturing floor, including components and machines. The completion of the acquisition is scheduled for early October of 2017

Microscan Systems is a world-leader in code scanning and decoding technology for industrial applications, and its business is expanding worldwide. The company develops a wide range of code reading devices, including barcode readers, 2D barcode readers, and barcode verifiers.1 Microscan Systems also possesses one of the most advanced algorithms in the industry, which enables stable reading of codes directly engraved or printed on products, even those with rough, glossy, or curved surfaces.

By inviting Microscan Systems into its Group, OMRON aims to help its customers develop a flexible style of manufacturing that meets increasingly diversified consumer requirements. This will be done by coding the information of all components and production equipment in the manufacturing environment. At the same time, OMRON seeks to help customers avoid frequent quality issues by tracing the source of problems. Through these endeavors, OMRON is determined to create a safe and secure society in collaboration with client companies.

In recent years, manufacturers have become committed to achieving more exacting traceability and enhancing governance regarding product safety as stipulated in the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) Code of Conduct.2 In doing so, they can respond to growing demands for product safety and security, while eliminating quality issues. Final products are becoming increasingly personalized, reflecting the diversification of consumer preferences, and this leads to a growing need for high-mix, low-volume manufacturing.

Moreover, to reach the ideal of one-to-one customised production, companies are realising the importance of the ability to trace individual products through serialisation. Because of these trends, assigning an ID code to each product or component has become increasingly common in various industries, resulting in more exacting requirements for code readers used on manufacturing floors. For example, the automobile industry requires robust code readers capable of reading 2D codes directly engraved on glossy metal parts such as engine blocks and cylinders, while also withstanding the harsh factory floor environment. In the digital device industry, each functional component is subject to ID control, which requires more compact, higher-precision code readers. In the pharmaceutical industry as well, employment of serialisation systems that mark a separate code on each box of medicine is being promoted to prevent counterfeiting and improve product safety.

Through the acquisition of Microscan Systems, OMRON expects to acquire a diversity of code readers incorporating Microscan Systems’s advanced 2D code reading technology, and integrate these with OMRON’s automation technology employed in its extensive line of control equipment. By so doing, OMRON seeks to offer comprehensive solution packages that are tailored to the challenges faced by each industry. Furthermore, by making mutual use of each company’s sales network, OMRON and Microscan Systems will offer individually optimised solutions for a wider range of customers.

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